Any offense with the word crime involved can seem distressing, even when it involves a minor drug charge such as the possession of marijuana. Florida is one of 30 states that have legalized cannabis either recreationally or medically, but the laws and penalties that are still attached can come with immense consequences.
NORML, an organization that works to reform marijuana laws, describes the laws and penalties that currently apply to marijuana possession, distribution, paraphernalia and other types of marijuana-related charges. The penalties range from misdemeanor to felony charges, and incarceration time can be anywhere from 1 to 30 years. For possession of 20 grams or less, an individual may face a misdemeanor charge, which demands up to $1,000 in fines. While possession of marijuana can have repercussions ranging from mild to severe in degree, those caught with hash and concentrates are charged with a felony and may have to pay up to $5,000 in fines. Hash or concentrates are considered schedule 1 narcotics in the state of Florida.
While Florida stands as one of the states to recently legalize medical marijuana, there is still a long way to go in terms of recreational marijuana legalization. For now, Sarasota Magazine reports, medical marijuana operators such as Trulieve are responsible for growing and processing their own products. This past June, the Legislature expanded marijuana rules to include not only oils, flowers and pills, but edibles, as well. Recent news of medical marijuana dispensaries popping up all over the state may come as a relief to some Florida residents; however, Florida legislators hold strict regulations on who can qualify to get marijuana. Yet the popular voice seems to dispute such strict guidelines. By the end of June, nearly 20,000 patients and almost 900 doctors had registered for medical marijuana in Florida.